Where I am going was the question. My journey is about change – my message is that what I write in this space can apply to each one of us. It is therefore not about me – but about all of us. It concerns what we feel about other people; races, skin-colours, religions, genders / sexual orientation and any other label we apply to “them” but ultimately it stems from what we feel about ourselves – about “us”. What is my motivation you may ask? Quite simply, I saw so much anger, hate and intolerance in our lives – correction – in my life – that that life became a daily battle, debate and antagonism. I began by recognizing a colossal sense of unsettledness within. The illogic behind my feelings of anger, hate and intolerance were a wake-up call to say the least. I decided to start to make some choices. We can make choices you know!
Let me ask you the following question: When you are driving your car and another driver cuts you off or displays other non-courteous actions – do you flip them the bird, honk your horn, swear at them, perhaps perform some other non-courteous counter-maneuver? Think of the moment immediately prior to this incident – how did you feel at that point in time? And think about how differently you felt after the incident? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like what I am feeling inside when I get mad or angry – EVEN when I think I am right! My goal is not to assist you in becoming better drivers – but I am going to attempt to focus on the micro in our lives and not the macro.
What do I mean by the micro and the macro? I will never be POTUS – president of the United States of America – after all I was not born in the USA. I do not expect to be Secretary General of the United Nations. I will not become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. You will not be a part of a sold out audience at any venue listening to me sing and entertain you. Put it another way – I will never have that big stage from where to pontificate. But you are reading my words. You might even give over an idea or two you read here to a friend. I will tell those in my circle what I am writing and thinking. That is the micro. On the other hand, I can debate the merits of a particular international treaty with you, evoke outrage at a terrorist attack in the letters to the editor, defend “right” from “wrong” on the geo-political stage at our weekly card game, scream and argue at a public rally or demonstration denouncing a country – but what has that accomplished? More angry people! That is the micro action performing a futile action. BUT – what if there was another way that wasn’t macro? What if the focus was micro on micro?
As I write in my yet unpublished book, Us versus Us –
I am not a writer. I am not a politician. I am certainly not a theologian.
I am not an academic nor a doctor or Ph.D., nor do I have any specialized credentials or expertise that allow me to speak with any authority on the topic of hate. I claim no originality; I am a completely average guy who even wonders himself what the hell I think gives me the right to attempt such a mad adventure as writing a book on this subject.
What do I know about hate? What do I know about global problems and the resolution of conflict and solutions for peace? What makes me think I have anything to contribute? After all, there have been extraordinary individuals—brilliant statesman, scientists, religious leaders, intellectuals, people far more talented and smarter or more gifted than I—who have tried the same thing. What makes me special?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
But it comes down to numbers. Fact is, the ordinary like me around the world far exceed the extraordinary. We can change the world—at least each of us our own little part of the world—for the better but not if we cannot commit to making change. And the change we need to make can be best achieved from the bottom up and not from the top down. We don’t need extraordinary leaders; we have been there, done that, and it has failed miserably. What is required of us is that we be extraordinary.
So as I embark on my journey, I invite you to join me. You may fully embrace some of the ideas expounded, and vehemently disagree with other thoughts – but let’s first get to learn about one another before we debate religious, political or other macro matters that by their parochial nature are so close to us that we can easily become threatened by opposing opinions before we even begin. Are you stuck or are you ready to consider something new in yourself and in other people? Is it worth the risk? It was for me – I will tell you more about that later.